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    The New York Times CompanyEzra Klein6/13/218 min
    11 reads5 comments
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    The New York Times Company
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    • Florian
      Reading streak
      4 months ago

      Wow yes! So much good food for thought.

      The American economy runs on poverty, or at least the constant threat of it. Americans like their goods cheap and their services plentiful and the two of them, together, require a sprawling labor force willing to work tough jobs at crummy wages

      • thorgalle
        Top reader this weekScoutScribe
        4 months ago

        That quote was a great opening to the article!

    • thorgalle
      Top reader this weekScoutScribe
      4 months ago

      Another interpretation of “one man's meat is another man's poison”. My main take-away: gaining more equality would mean losing some level of convenience in the middle classes, because the expectation of those conveniences are based on a system that is dependent on poverty.

    • DellwoodBarker
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      4 months ago

      We know many who want a job can’t find one, and many of the jobs people can find are cruel in ways that would appall anyone sitting comfortably behind a desk. We know the absence of child care and affordable housing and decent public transit makes work, to say nothing of advancement, impossible for many.

      For the most part, America finds the money to pay for the things it values. In recent decades, and despite deep gridlock in Washington, we have spent trillions of dollars on wars in the Middle East and tax cuts for the wealthy. We have also spent trillions of dollars on health insurance subsidies and coronavirus relief. It is in our power to wipe out poverty. It simply isn’t among our priorities.

    • Jessica4 months ago

      Most Americans don’t think of themselves as benefiting from the poverty of others, and I don’t think objections to a guaranteed income would manifest as arguments in favor of impoverishment. Instead, we would see much of what we’re seeing now, only magnified: Fears of inflation, lectures about how the government is subsidizing indolence, paeans to the character-building qualities of low-wage labor, worries that the economy will be strangled by taxes or deficits, anger that Uber and Lyft rides have gotten more expensive, sympathy for the struggling employers who can’t fill open roles rather than for the workers who had good reason not to take those jobs. These would reflect not America’s love of poverty but opposition to the inconveniences that would accompany its elimination.

      This really makes me think of all types of privilege and how different levels of privilege manifest in our treatment of one another to reduce the supposed “inconveniences.” Here, it is financial privilege.